Binder Tops Mugello Test As Rain Disrupts MotoGP Progress

The Ducati Lenovo Team celebrated a successful outing at the Brembo Italian Grand Prix at Mugello International Circuit, with Francesco Bagnaia securing the race win and Enea Bastianini finishing in second place. Both riders, performing in front of a home crowd, delivered stellar performances on their Desmosedici GP bikes, which featured special livery dedicated to Italy’s national team.

However, the subsequent MotoGP Mugello Test was marred by challenging weather conditions. Following overnight rain and intermittent showers, only 16 of the 23 riders managed to set lap times. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Brad Binder emerged as the fastest with a time of 1:47.617, narrowly edging out Pedro Acosta of Red Bull GASGAS Tech3.

Binder’s top time provided a notable highlight for the Pierer Mobility Group bikes, which sported new aerodynamic updates similar to those tested at Jerez. These updates featured a fully sheathed side fairing, creating a smooth surface.

Jack Miller, also of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, finished fourth and clocked the second-highest lap tally with 32 laps. Augusto Fernandez of Red Bull GASGAS Tech3 only managed a wet weather lap time, placing him 13th.

Luca Marini, riding for the Repsol Honda Team, ended the day in third position with a time of 1:49.051. Marini was the busiest rider, completing 40 laps under varying conditions. He shared his thoughts on the day, saying, “The rain didn’t make for the best conditions, but nevertheless it was good to be able to try the bike some more in the wet because we need to improve in that area. At the end, we’ve had an interesting day, and we were able to try some new things on the bike. Now we have some time to analyse everything and understand the full plan moving ahead. All of the team is working hard and pushing a lot, there’s still more work to do, but we are on the way.”

Joan Mir, also of Repsol Honda Team, set the fifth-fastest time of 1:49.788. He commented on the day’s challenges: “Obviously we had to change our plans a lot as it wasn’t the best day for testing. We went out early and could do a few dry laps as well as some wet laps. There hasn’t been a lot of wet practice during the season, so it was a chance to work on the setting for that. It wasn’t a wasted day as we were able to make some progress in the wet but in the dry we couldn’t make any big progress.”

Maverick Viñales of Aprilia Racing was the top RS-GP rider in sixth place, with both his and teammate Aleix Espargaro’s bikes appearing to be standard-spec. The Noale camp had little to report from the track, as the weather curtailed much of their planned testing.

In the Trackhouse Racing garage, Raul Fernandez and Miguel Oliveira both faced limited running due to the conditions. Fernandez explained, “Our plan was to work more on the 2024 bike but, because of the weather, we couldn’t try anything. At the beginning of the morning, the conditions were mixed, and we went out on track with my actual bike to see if there was the possibility to start the work but then it started to rain again. We also didn’t want to take too many risks – I’ll undergo surgery on my arm again tomorrow, so all our focus is on that at the moment and then to properly heal up in time for Assen.”

Oliveira echoed the sentiment, stating, “Initially we wanted to test a couple of new setting ideas to be able to work on improving the bike and try to find the performance we lacked yesterday. After analyzing the data, the team couldn’t understand why I struggled so much with the front end of the bike and that really cost me a few tenths in the lap. We really wanted to try something different but the wet weather clearly didn’t allow us the opportunity to try some different setups on the electronics and a body fairing. That’s it – that was our day. I did a couple of laps in the rain but it was already drying up too much and when we decided to go for the slicks, it started to rain so, we didn’t have much chance.”

The day concluded with limited progress for many teams, as the unpredictable weather prevented extensive testing. The MotoGP stars will next hit the track at the Cathedral of Speed between June 28th and 30th.

MotoGP Mugello Test Photo Gallery

Raul Fernandez, MotoGP, Italian MotoGP, 31 May 2024
Raul Fernandez, Mugello MotoGP Test, 3 June 2024
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